Param Bir Singh, the former police commissioner of Mumbai, was on Wednesday declared a “proclaimed offender” by a city court in connection with an extortion case. Singh’s is the first-ever case of a former Mumbai police commissioner being declared a proclaimed offender, and he was also the second-most senior Indian Police Service (IPS) officer serving in Maharashtra.
Who is a proclaimed offender?
If any court has reason to believe that a person against whom an arrest warrant has been issued by it has absconded or is concealing himself so that the warrant cannot be executed, the court may pronounce him a ‘proclaimed offender’ and make a declaration to that effect.
What are the offences for which the court may declare an absconder to be a proclaimed offender?
The court may pronounce an absconder as a proclaimed offender if he is accused of any of the following offences:
• Murder; culpable homicide not amounting to murder
• Kidnapping or abducting in order to murder; Kidnapping or abducting in order to subject a person to grievous hurt, slavery etc.
• Committing theft after making preparation for death, hurt or restraint in order to commit the theft; committing robbery or attempting to do so; causing hurt in committing robbery; committing dacoity/dacoity with murder; committing robbery/dacoity with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt; attempting to commit robbery/dacoity when armed with a deadly weapon; preparing to commit or assembling to commit dacoity; belonging to a gang of dacoits.
• Causing mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy a house, etc.
• Committing house-trespass in order to commit an offence punishable with death; causing grievous hurt/death while committing lurking house-trespass or house-breaking; being a member of a group that causes grievous hurt/death while committing lurking house-trespass or house-breaking by night.
What are the charges against Param Bir Singh?
The order came following an application filed by the Mumbai Police’s crime branch, which is investigating an August 20 extortion case registered in Goregaon in northwest Mumbai. The FIR named Param Bir Singh, dismissed assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze and civilians — Sumeet Singh, Alpesh Patel, Vinay Ramnarayan Singh aka Bablu and Riyaz Bhati — for extortion.
The complainant, restaurateur Bimal Agarwal, alleged that the accused extorted ₹11.92 lakh from him by threatening to register cases against two of his outlets – Boho Restaurant and BCB Bar. Once it took over the investigation, the crime branch arrested Vaze, Sumeet Singh and Alpesh Patel.